The tram was full. It was a teacher work day and parents had decided that the 70-degree, blue-skied day was one for the zoo. I was among them, though I had forgotten about the work day (my wife's schedule is different than the rest of the county's). I was next in line and told the tram operator who was loading passengers and had looked my way, "I'll just wait for the next tram if we can't all sit together."
"There's room for you to sit together here," she said. I started walking toward the back of the tram, pushing Will in the stroller. As kindly as possible in front of so many passengers with cell phones and the Department of Social Services on speed-dial, I encouraged Anna and Avery to walk quickly. I unbuckled Will and told the girls to get up in the seat. The tram driver took my stroller from me to store in the front, and I climbed into the last seat on the tram. Or tried to. Anna wouldn't move over. "C'mon, Anna, move over so Will and I can sit down." She and Avery finally scooted over toward the thirty-something father next to them with the three-year-old towhead on his lap.
I sat down and thanked the man for making room. His daughter looked at me and said, "I think you might be too big to ride on here."
"I think you're right," I said.
As the tram began moving the little girl asked if the two girls were my little girls. "Nope," I said, "I just found them wandering around the park and I picked them up." She stared at me as she tried absorbing the information until I relented and said, "No, they're my girls. This," I said placing my hand on her head, "is Avery, and this," I said, moving my hand, "is Anna."
The little girl's dad, who held her tightly, said, "I told you he was their daddy, Sweetheart."
One of the tram operators got on the speaker as we came up on the tram stop halfway back to the park entrance. "Can I see a show of hands of anyone who would like to get off at this stop?" Several hands shot up, including the man's next to me. The hands went back down as the tram drove silently past the tram stop. I turned to him and said, "I guess they just wanted to see."